Sunday, May 22, 2011

Intuit in Healthcare - A Waking Giant?

Intuit is well known in finance and the commercial world and an interesting article by Austin Merritt on Software Advice "Intuit Health: A Sleeping Giant with Big Potential" highlights the potential this company has in the healthcare space applying the principles so successfully used in their industry leading personal finance solutions (Quicken, Quickbooks, TurboTax etc). The strategy has been to offer highly competitive easy to use products that new businesses can use when starting out:
Intuit has muscled their way to significant market share in the retail, manufacturing, distribution, nonprofit, property management, and construction industries primarily through its QuickBooks product line. Companies in these industries adopt QuickBooks when they’re just starting out. As they grow, they ease into industry-specific packages from Intuit that replace, or integrate with, QuickBooks. The transition works nicely for Intuit and QuickBooks users. It creates headaches for their vertically-focused competitors.
The strategy has proven effective in getting companies bought into the Intuit family and while not large revenue generators there were additional add on services (Intuit payment services, Bill Pay etc). The methodology is being repeated in healthcare with "Quicken Health Expense Tracker"
that allows insurance companies to provide patients with a clear breakdown of what they pay and what the patients owe. Patients naturally then pay through Bill Pay. Cha-ching for Intuit.
But for this to be effective Intuit needs to pull in clinicians with integrated solution that would include an easy to use EMR. Intuit acquired MedFusion a good first step in delivering a practical solution to clinicians in desperate need an easy to use solution to help manage their office and their patients clinical information not just appointments, laboratory results and prescription refills.

The short list presented:

  • MediSoft / Lytec
  • Office Ally
  • HealthFusion / MediTouch
  • Practice Fusion
  • Kareo
  • AdvancedMD

And while it is impossible to present all the possible options given the long list of EMR vendors for what is currently their sweet spot of small practices my list would include eClincalWorks, Greenway and Sage to mention a few. While not meeting the proposed list of small companies there are some interesting opportunities for a big splash and really placing Intuit definitively in the healthcare space

I've passed comment on Intuit before as an interesting company to watch in the healthcare space. Their success will largely be determined by their ability to translate their simple easy to use concepts so successful in personal and company finance into the complex and challenging world of healthcare.